Mary J. Blige ‘Thick Of It’ Song Review

Now I actually like a whole ton of Mary’s music; usually it’s pretty catchy and a bit quirky too for the genre. The music she produced from 2012 -2014 always landed on my phone and I used to have a great deal of fun listening to her as I went to school. However, I haven’t actually heard much by her or bothered to look for much by her in the last two years. So I guess this track is a return to form for me, shall we see what I thought of it?

Eh, it’s okay, it’s just a little boring personally. Again the songs structure is quite quirky in comparison to competitors, but I just felt it dragged on a little bit. The first chorus I thought ‘wow, okay this is pretty different I can tag along with this’, but by the second I was already bored of the whole approach. It’s actually a little bit grating at times when she massively over dramatises some notes. The verses are utterly forgettable too, with the vocal melody lacking any structure or cohesiveness; too much wailing not enough direction.

Production wise the song is pretty darn solid, I don’t really have any qualms here. The accompaniment sounds surprisingly organic and Mary’s voice is largely untampered with. I think the producer/producers have had a field day with this one and I’d like to hear this old-school R&B approach used by other artists; the more natural it sounds, the more I connect with the words.

Musicality wise the song is certainly different, but to me it doesn’t really make it good. I mean there aren’t any real glaring issues here, but the song just isn’t catchy. It’s not something you can flick on and sing too, and I think that’s largely down to Mary herself. This is what over-singing does to a track; it can cause it to become jumbled and a little dull. If every single note is remarkable and over-done, then that reduces the chance of a significant moment. More is less in some cases and I think that applies well to here.

Lyrically the song is a little cheesy but it certainly isn’t that bad. There is a massive lack of diction though on each word making the song almost undecipherable on first listen unless you’re concentrating really hard. Again that’s down to the over-projection of Mary’s voice.

Overall then the song isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. I think Solange taught us earlier this year, that bouncing from soft to powerful at the right times can be effective, but being all powerful or all soft can be bring, here it’s boring to hear too much power throughout the whole song. It removes the dynamics and you can’t juxtapose specific notes due to them all sounding the same anyway.

5/10 – Easy improvements need to be made, holding back would help substantially.

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